The healthcare industry has been hit hard these past couple years with a significant increase in employee turnover rates. The culmination of more and more healthcare companies, along with all the healthcare changes and the individualism found in majority of employees has made it very difficult to retain an employee for the long term.
Candidate Competition: Winning The Race
In the past two years, most of us have sourced and recruited all passive candidates from the healthcare industry to fill open positions. The conversations were completely focused on the needs of the candidate and how the position being discussed would fulfill those needs. I, along with many other recruiters, have played a part in this turnover rate. If the company placed more focus on each employee, they would not lose their high achievers to other organizations and would know what is making them walk away.
The following is biased thoughts on how I feel companies could entice employees to remain loyal and happy in their jobs. This is based on 20 years observing best practices utilized at industry leading organizations.
Each time a candidate is hired, there should be an on-boarding team composed of the following members: Human Resource, Manager, Team Members, Executive Team Member, and Receptionist (core individuals capable of integrating new employee quickly) This team will be known as a special ops group–Operation X. There should be a mission critical perception instilled within each team member. An understanding that if one team member fails, we all fail along with them.
New Employee Brainstorming Session
The leader of the team will block a 1 hour session for the team to discuss a project and brainstorm ideas together. This is a great time for the team lead to share vision/values/purpose/goals/priorities/expectations/ etc. in order to establish where the new employee will fall within the team. The importance of a skilled recruiter hiring is key in order for the teams to not have to waste time with someone who simply does not fit the culture of the company. If the recruiter did their job right, the team can focus on integration and placement of new team member. It only takes a month to realize if the new employee will integrate into the team and shares the core mission and values of the company.
There is nothing worse than throwing a new employee into their role and leaving them to find their way. Several companies use mentor programs and have found that their retention rates are directly correlated. All of us feel more confident and valuable when someone offers their knowledge and time. The rewards are significant for the employee and company when a mentor program is operated effectively. The mentee gains incredible opportunities from the mentor because of the longevity of the connection between the two individuals. It is a win-win situation.
Survey Your Employees
Several years ago, I was asked to manage the mentor program of all the new physicians at a large healthcare company. It was a virtual position that required a significant amount of communication skills. The Chief Medical Officer started asking me questions within the first month of managing the program. I realized that the questions he asked were answers that required feedback from the physicians. In two weeks, thanks to survey monkey, I was able to create and administer a survey that gathered a significant amount of feedback from each physician. We had made several changes to our mentor program within six months due to the feedback received at the end of each training session. There are several websites that offer surveying tools. I highly recommend companies utilizing in order to gather feedback from employees. It is an inexpensive method for transforming current practices into award winning practice or an industry leading organization.
There was a company I worked for in the early 90’s that had value proposition awards. They ranged from $50 – $250, depending on the level of award. In the first six months of employment, I had made an extra $1200.00 from obtaining several of these awards. The best part is that one of your fellow co-workers had to nominate you to receive the award. There were eight business centers across the nation and ours was the highest functioning center. I truly believe it was because we utilized these awards to their fullest potential. Each of us paid close attention to the daily actions and projects within our teams. And, we paid recognition to each team member that stepped outside their job description to assist another co-worker. These awards were so effective because of the leaders that were leading the teams. And, that brings me to the final suggestion that is the most important of them all.
The Right Leader
Recently, I ran across a book that is completely focused on introversion. It provided a section that discussed high functioning teams. The teams that were placed with the opposite personality as the leader had the most effectiveness. For example, an introverted leader placed with extroverted team members are highly effective teams. The extroverted leader placed with the introverted team members are highly effective teams as well. When you obtain a leader with all the right stuff, along with the opposite effect, you will have teams whistling. The most highly effective leaders are empathetic, highly driven, and have a high level of integrity. The next time you are interviewing a leader, make certain he/she is the right personality type for the already established team.
Everything discussed in this blog is all related to customer satisfaction. Every single employee should be treated like a customer. They are out there every day attached to the rope following the guidance of the leader, securing the rope to the anchor, depending on their team members being strong climbers and belayers, in order for you, the company, to make it to the top of the mountain. How satisfied is your customer? I hope they fall on the 100% scale because if they are 1% unsatisfied, you can be certain a recruiter will find them and will discover that 1% and invite them to play on their team. “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”